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Sandwich Generation is completely overwhelmed, worried they may never retire

Insurance Forums Staff

New research from Haven Life Insurance Agency (Haven Life) (conducted before the coronavirus pandemic) reveals that the Sandwich Generation is struggling
physically, mentally and financially.

Haven Life, a customer-centric life insurance innovator backed and wholly owned
by MassMutual, conducted a national survey to better understand the individuals
who are sandwiched by the responsibilities of providing care and decision-making
support for both dependent children and aging parents.

The key insight from the survey shows that 80% of the Sandwich Generation is
overwhelmed. In fact, 84% of respondents indicated that their retirement will be
negatively impacted by their financial responsibilities to both children and aging
parents. The results from this survey underscore the enormous stress that
individuals face when navigating the realities of caring for their aging parents and
kids at the same time.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • The Sandwich Generation is consistently overwhelmed. Eighty percent of
    respondents feel overwhelmed often or constantly. These individuals also indicated
    they are overwhelmed nearly five out of seven days of the week.
  • Gender and income may play a role in how overextended the Sandwich
    Generation feels. Women (84%) in the Sandwich Generation are more likely to
    report feeling overwhelmed compared to men (75%). Additionally, 84% of
    respondents with an income $0-$49,900 reporting being overwhelmed compared to
    respondents with an income over $150,000 (63%).
  • The Sandwich Generation helps with critical decision making for aging
    parents. The areas where respondents help out the most include healthcare
    decisions (60%) and financial decisions (55%). Forty-three percent currently assist
    their parents financially or provide physical care. Nearly 60% of the Sandwich
    Generation expect to financially support their parents or in-laws as they continue to
  • The Sandwich Generation could benefit from more support, specifically
    mental health and financial advisor services. When asked what would help to
    reduce their stress, the top three choices selected by respondents include access to a
    mental health professional (63%), decision-making support from their family (61%)
    and a financial advisor (57%).
  • The Sandwich Generation's self-care is suffering. When asked what activities
    suffer the most as a result of their responsibilities, the top three choices included
    self-care (63%), sleep (62%) and financial health (43%).
  • The Sandwich Generation would love more shut eye. If Sandwich Generation
    respondents were gifted one extra hour in their days, the majority of them would
    spend it sleeping (50%), followed by spending more time with their children (48%) and their partner (48%).
  • The Sandwich Generation is struggling to save for their retirement. As a result of their financial responsibilities, a majority of the Sandwich Generation have had to adjust their retirement goals (55%), with 29% feeling that they will never be able to retire.
  • Two-thirds of the Sandwich Generation has life insurance. Given the enormous responsibilities of providing physical, emotional and financial support for their parents and children, the Sandwich Generation seems to understand the importance of financial protection. Of those who don't have life insurance, 66 percent said that being a member of the Sandwich Generation prevents them from getting coverage.

Read the full Sandwich Generation report.



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